Why not pick on solicitors instead ?

Let me begin by thanking all of you who voted me as blogger of the year . Humbling to say the least , especially as I only came on board during the year. Now to business .

Yesterday I listened to the heads of the Big 4 squirming in front of the Public Accounts Committee. Perhaps they should instead focus on the dodgy dealings that solicitors engage in under "legal privilege" , something not afforded to our august and esteemed profession.  It seems that the zeitgeist is about people paying loads of unnecessary tax , but everybody is turning a blind eye to the fact that our tax rules are so complex that loopholes are popping up all the time . They are a symptom of a problem not the problem itself . 

Perhaps the profession has to fight back and shift foucus towards a root and branch examination of tax laws.

I wonder how many of these self-righteous protestors would shun the opportunity to use a legal loophole if it maximised their income.....

 

Comments

Humbling?    1 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

How can it be humbling to be voted blogger of the year. If it was me it would make me big headed.

ShirleyM's picture

Call me a fool if you wish ....

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I wonder how many of these self-righteous protestors would shun the opportunity to use a legal loophole if it maximised their income.....

I can't speak for others, but if I were fortunate enough to earn big money, I wouldn't take advantage of an aggressive scheme, and I despair at the greed of people who do. I would maybe be more sympathetic if they managed to pay 20% tax like people who are not high earners, but they reduce their tax to something below 1% and pay the same tax/NI as someone on minimum wage.

I really don't understand their mentality and I cannot see it as anything but greed, or wanting to have your cake and eat it, by benefiting from the tax that others pay, but not contributing yourself.

I am not greedy. Are you?

Flying Scotsman's picture

Greed

Flying Scotsman | | Permalink

I don't think it is about greed per se , it is the human condition - people don't like paying tax .You may see things differently if you had earned serious sums. When the temptation is out there everything changes.

What about a scheme for example that creates tax shelters and allows charities to benefit ? I don't see them handing back donations or creating a stink ? Perhaps the displays of righteous indignation are from those who failed ot benefit from these schemes but wave the money under their noses...

The point is, if somebody comes to you for advice as how to LEGALLY minimise their liabilities would oyu frog-march out the door or would you consider that you need to pay next month's mortgage, school fees and golf club membership ?

After all , this is what you have trained to do is it not ? Your regulatory body has no objection , your employer encourages it and you submit your CPD declaration showing you have attended aggressive tax planning course. Suddenly you are an outcast ? That's immoral

 

ShirleyM's picture

Speaking for myself (again)

ShirleyM | | Permalink

The point is, if somebody comes to you for advice as how to LEGALLY minimise their liabilities would oyu frog-march out the door or would you consider that you need to pay next month's mortgage, school fees and golf club membership ?

I would be happy to recommend the generally accepted methods of tax mitigation (which are capped). I would maybe even mention an aggressive avoidance scheme where you can avoid pretty much ALL tax, but I would point out the risks involved, and also direct them to another accountant if they chose that route.

I like to think that people should restrict themselves to what they can afford, rather than get the luxuries that can only be afforded by avoiding their social responsibilities.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

David Beckham ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... what a nice guy?

There are two sides to social responsibilities and tax, one is to pay a fair amount on the tax payers side, and the governments part is to spend it wisely so they only need take the minimum required.

Unfortunately, at the moment, both sides are moving in opposite directions, but even worse, opposite directions away from the centre - and not towards it!

Flying Scotsman's picture

Living standards and Mr Beckham

Flying Scotsman | | Permalink

Indeed a nice gesture and example for others . However ,I wonder how much of his income he gave away until this very public announcement ? What about the rest of the big household sports names - " the stars and idols "

The challenge is to give away huge chunks and live modestly when you could up your lifestyle and give squat diddly all.  I give away more than I take home and have done so for many years and I can name many peopel in know who do the same . Should I expect the same of others ? Could I do better ?

And where exactly do social responsibilities lie ? Is it to give charity or to pay more tax than is legally obliged or is it about driving within the speed limit or not dropping litter or clearing snow from your neighbour's path ?

You see , it all depends on the yardstick one uses and the issue is that the yardsticks these days are in constant flux. I wonder how many of today's "protestors at greed an inequality" were out rioting last year and hitting innocent people and society with their distorted yardstick.

Then again perhaps it is time to ditch the yardstick and replace it with a moral compass. That's progress for you , isn't it ?

ShirleyM's picture

The reason for tax

ShirleyM | | Permalink

It's a sad fact that many people would take from society, but give nothing in return. We see this in bucket spades nowadays, where people who could (and should) make a contribution choose not to do so.

Imposing tax is a way of ensuring that those who are 'able', do give something.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Me ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... i just want to get on with my life, don't want to be given anything and do begrudge being forced to give my hard earned lucre so feckless half wits can waste on yet more hairbrained projects/quangos/ego-trips etc. etc.

Solicitors/Barristers ....

JC | | Permalink

The natural progression for some in these professions is to migrate into politics, and ones heart sinks when yet another Solicitor/Barrister pops up as an MP or spouse of MP / party leader

The problem is probably associated with either the person themselves or the questionable nature of some of their clients

Nick Clegg - Miriam González Durántez

Partner at Dechert - Head of the EU Trade and EU Relations. Now could the career of his wife have influenced Nick Cleggs stance on Europe?

BookTrust -
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2241629/Nick-Clegg-MPs-demand-in...

Libyan Government controversy -
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/legal-firm-that-employs-nick-cleggs-wife-...

Various Others -
Cadbury takeover -
http://www.newsrt.co.uk/news/miriam-gonzalez-durantez-and-the-us-firm-he...

Tony Blair (Miranda in some circle) & wife Cherie

Probably not enough disk space on Aweb to cover all her antics, property deals, general controversy

etc.....

Flying Scotsman's picture

Blue badge

Flying Scotsman | | Permalink

Interestingly enough I have never understood why a blue badge holder has free parking. the whole point of the schme is accessibility not subsidy. My wife unfortunately qualifies for one and had to undergo 3 appeals to have it renewed . It seems that the new rules are so widely drawn to root out the cheats , and abuse is widespread - make no mistake , that they threw the baby out with the bathwater.( They should allow parking attendants to demand the right to see the picture but that abuses human rights no doubt). To make matters worse, or in our case, better, the final hearing was with an official who was understanding and intepreted the rules with common sense . The most interesting comment he made , inter alia, was he felt elderly people should not qualify simply due to age as it is in their interest to get out and about and walk more.

 

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